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My first long distance ride was on a Kawasaki 400. It was the KZ400 variant, air cooled, kick-start, and drum brakes. The minimalist bike as it's best.
I was fresh out of high school having bought the bike before I graduated. It was red with a black and gold stripe on the tank. Largest bike I had ever ridden at the time. I had an Amoco back rest integrated with a rear rack that was beneficial in hauling whatever I needed for the trip. I was to travel 335 miles from northern Louisiana to southern Missouri. Being my first trip, I really didn't know how much pain my rear posterior would suffer. I left out early in the morning and road northward until I was near Little Rock, Ark (150+ miles). There I filled the tank and got a burger. I sure noticed my rear starting to ache. I walked around a bit to ease the pain. I was getting close to a halfway point. I rode throughout the afternoon up hwy 167 then to hwy 412, then hwy 395 that turned into hwy 17 when I crossed the Missouri state line. I did stop somewhere in northern Arkansas to refuel (Salem maybe?), but don't recall where that was at. The pleasant Ozark mountain air was much drier than the humid Louisiana air I was used to. The mountain highways were fun to ride also.
I rode into West Plains, Missouri and looked for a motel with a swimming pool to cool off, as it was in the middle of June (summer weather). The KZ 400 rode well with no issues at all (it had less than 3k miles on it), my back side though, felt it had just crossed the 100k mile mark. What a relief the swimming pool was! I had made the trip to train for a new job, which was to start the next day. Being 18 years old, it didn't take but one night to recover from the ride. These were some very good youthful memories. Just me, the Kawasaki 400, and a weeks worth of apparel on a new life's adventure.
I will only just mention my second ride: I worked the week and scheduled the next trip back south, which turned out to be a ride in something like a monsoon ( heavy wind and rain). I don't remember much about the second ride, but trying to endure the wind and rain, which was very unpleasant. I am glad time has erased that ride mostly from my memory.

Please feel free to add your experiences of your first long distance ride
.

Wishing all safe riding,
Rde09
 

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Kiwi's first big two wheeled adventre

18 years and seven hundred and fifty cubic centimeters - what a heady combination of testosterone, in-experience and horse power!
A couple of months previous I had bought myself an '86 model Honda VF750 that looked like this:
vf750 origine Bleue.jpg
My parents knew nothing about it until I pulled up their driveway on it one weekend. Too late now..
Xmas holidays rolled around and I was off on my first big motorcycle ride around the South island of New Zealand, which is about a 1500 mile Journey.
I had bought some saddle bags but there was no room left for the camping gear so I crudely tied it onto the back of the bike with rope.
Here's the bits I remember:
The first day I hit rain but I survived, the second day I realised my rear tyre was not going to last the journey. Dont they last as long as car tyres? err no.
The third day i had to negotiate my way into the centre of NZ's second largest city to find a motorcycle shop to get said tyre replaced. Survived that too.
A couple of days later i got horribly drunk in a remote pub with my bike parked outside in the carpark. The publican seeing my predicament suggested I pitched my tent in his garden but I was too far gone to undo the crazy rope securing system I had going on. So I slept on the porch instead and got woken by his dog at first light licking me.
The next day I met two older guys on BMW's who took me under their wing for the rest of the trip down the west coast. We had a great time riding, camping and drinking beer together. They set a nice steady pace that kept my over- enthusiasm for corners in check and made sure I completed the trip in one piece.
I returned home after about two weeks feeling like I had hit apon something new that I was right into.
30 years on I still am. :smile:
 

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My first longer ride was for a sad occasion. A young soldier had died in Iraq and was going to be buried about 200 miles away. There were troublemakers protesting at soldiers' funerals back then, and they were threatening to disrupt the funeral. I've had family in the military throughout American history, and had a family member actively serving at that time who had four little children. I thought of them should their father die, and also how this family deserved better in their grief.

The Patriot Guard was brand new and this was the first military funeral under these circumstances that happened where I lived. So not knowing how many people, if any, would show up and defend this family, I decided to take the day off and attend the funeral. It turned out that there was a very large number of people who attended the funeral, and Patriot Guard members from all over came to do what's right. We turned our backs on the "uninvited guests" and much of the community also attended the funeral procession.

I was a noob with less than 1000 total miles, and I hadn't ridden more than 100 miles at one time yet. A 400 mile round trip looked daunting. But the Patriot Guard was the only organized group to join, so I decided to ride to the funeral and back. As I completed this trip, I not only felt that I had helped do the right thing for this soldier's family, but I also felt like a biker for the first time.
 

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Really---three posts?

I'll bump this with another story in hopes of jogging something out of the assembled webians ;) (do people still used that term?).

Buying a shiny red sportbike would have been a proper midlife crisis for my 50th birthday. :eek:ccasion13: But I already had a shiny red Ninja sportbike at the time. So, I considered an appropriate challenge. A retired coworker is an Iron Butt Association member. The self-styled “World’s Toughest Riders” are endurance bikers, with contests like riding coast-to-coast across the U.S. in 50 hours. You must complete one of their named rides within the designated maximum time period to join. And so I decided to attempt the Saddle Sore 1000.

This is their shortest ride—1000 miles within 24 hours. I planned a fun route for my birthday; riding from Bismarck, North Dakota to Pierre, South Dakota then to Rapid City, SD, through northeast Wyoming, and almost to Billings, Montana before heading home. Google Maps implied it would take 16 hours to ride, and I allowed two more hours for refueling the Ninja and myself. I thought I’d be home by midnight, but this turned out to be wildly optimistic.

My classic first-generation Ninja 650R started eagerly as dawn broke. She sounded frisky, like a horse that’s been in the stable too long and wants to run. I stopped for gas to get the required date and time stamped receipt, 5:52 am, and the attendant signed the witness form for my start. I reversed the intended course and headed west to evade predicted afternoon thunderstorms in Wyoming.

The ride was uneventful until Miles City, MT. It was here that I made an unwitting mistake and decided to try something new and “healthy;” an acai berry vitamin drink. Since my secret superhero name is Allergy-Man, I really should just stick to things I have safely had before—leave the “healthy” experiments to another time. Well, gurgling and queasiness started just a few miles later, and I stopped at the next several rest areas and gas stations. Let’s just say that finding a clean place to sit down can be difficult. :dizzy: That drink added about two hours of unexpected delays over the next 300 miles.

Mid-afternoon brought dark rain clouds atop the Big Horn Mountains in Wyoming. I hurried because the road ran parallel to the oncoming storm front for about 100 miles before I could turn away to outrun the storm. Fortunately, the posted speed limit jumped to 80. (I always ride at the lawful limits and obey all traffic laws, at least according to anything posted that might be read by law enforcement.) I would have been long gone before these storms hit but for that acai berry drink.

It was suppertime when I checked the radar at Gillette, Wyoming—smartphones aren’t just for Minecraft—and another storm was approaching from the south. I needed to hurry, but the bike needed attention.

Most people with chain-driven bikes stop frequently to spray lubricant on their chain. I had added an automatic oiler. It is a complex solution to a simple problem, no doubt inspired by Rube Goldberg. I filled it before leaving, and its gage was still full after 600 miles. We must have a problem. So I inspected the system, and saw that the applicator tip was fouled. Cleaning and priming the system made the oil flow again. I was tired but the Ninja started just as happy and eager to ride as could be.

At 6 pm I played a game of dodge-em with storms near Sundance, WY where the famous Kid was once a guest of the local sheriff. But another storm approaching the Black Hills was still far away when Harley-Davidson’s Holy City came to view. So I stopped to take the Ninja’s portrait in front of the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum, and hustled out of town before the Harley riders even realized the sacrilege at this desecration by a rice burner. :grin:

Night fell by 10:40 pm at Wall, SD where I left the interstate for two-lane rural highways home. The acai berry delay combined with reversing the route in a futile attempt to avoid the afternoon thunderstorms put me on desolate two-lanes after dark. This added more unexpected hours to the trip because I didn’t want to outride my headlights in the land where the deer and the antelope jaywalk. Once, a creature resembling a hairy Gollum crawled out from the side and scurried away from my lights. Various body parts were now aching. But weirdly, given the name of the organization I was riding to join, my posterior was fine. Perhaps it’s an unexpected benefit of having had a desk job?

The Ninja still started right away after each stop, but now with a snarky tone under her exhaust, as if she were saying “we shouldn’t go until you check the loose nut connecting the handlebars to the seat.” At 4:15 am, the Bismarck gas station where I started came into view. The night attendant signed as my end witness. I had made it, and went straight home to bed. The next day was a zombie-like fog.

Better planning and better food choices would have made this trip more fun. The next Iron Butt ride I completed was the Bun Burner 1500—36 hours to ride 1500 miles. It went a lot better.
 

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1600km in 24 hrs is impressive, if not a little dangerous perhaps. Once it's gets dark and your that fatigued already the mind starts to go...
Good on you though, life needs a few adventures now and then to keep it fresh.
Your Ninja looks good in the red color option too. I think you said you still have that bike?
 

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1600km in 24 hrs is impressive, if not a little dangerous perhaps. Once it's gets dark and your that fatigued already the mind starts to go...
Good on you though, life needs a few adventures now and then to keep it fresh.
Your Ninja looks good in the red color option too. I think you said you still have that bike?
I did better the next time. I rode a combination of a SS1000 and a Bun Burner 1500 (1500 miles in 36 hours). It only took the planned 18 hours for 1000 miles the first day, and the only time after dark was on a busy highway with lot of headlights to "borrow" for good vision. I completed the remaining miles the next day after about 6 hours of sleep.

You are completely right about fatigue, I hadn't done an all-nighter since college.

And I sold the Little Red Ninja when I bought Ms. Noire. Simply don't have the space for two bikes.
 
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I’ve never been tempted to do any of the long haul rides like that.
The longest I’ve been in the saddle was 11 hours, and that was plenty
 
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I'll keep mine short.


Rode a VFR800 to Colorado from Oklahoma City for a 10 day long camping trip. Was awesome, 1/2 mi hike to a remote camping spot. Drank water from the lake. Beautiful rides, first time to Pikes Peak... Good, good memories.


Second one was on a Harley Dyna... OKC to South Dakota (Deadwood) but traveling west, then north through Colorado with stops along the way. Rode almost an entire day with rain on one of the days. Experienced a car show in Lead, SD, Stayed in Deadwood for two nights.. Then a miserable trip back to OKC through Neb and KS. So glad I took Colorado on the way up.


I need to do more of these.
 

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I had toyed with the idea of riding across the country (USA) for years, and finally decided to do it on the year I turned 70. So I started out from my home in southwest Washington on my 06 Kawasaki Ninja 650 with over 70,000 miles on it in mid September 2011. The first day in central Oregon the bike started to quit on me and I would coast to a stop with a dead engine. After a while it would start back up, but shortly after quit again. Not a reassuring way to start a cross country ride. I finally decided the combination of a hot day and a low fuel level was causing the fuel pump to overheat. I ordered a new fuel pump to be delivered to my brother's house in St. Louis, Missouri and made sure the tank was kept nearly full until I got there. Cooler temps in Idaho, Wyoming and Colorado also helped except going across Kansas when it was hot again and the bike quit a few times.

After replacing the fuel pump I continued on with no problems and rode some famous roads on the East coast like the Dragon, Blue Ridge Parkway, Devil's Triangle and others. By the time I got back home in mid October I had put over 8,000 miles on the bike and had a wonderful ride.

This past Autumn I went east again, only this time I trailered the bike to get across Wyoming, Colorado and Kansas and unloaded at a nephew's house in Kentucky. I rode some of the same roads as the first time plus others in West Virginia and Ohio. The ride was 8 days and over 2100 miles.
 

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A couple of months previous I had bought myself an '86 model Honda VF750 that looked like this:
vf750 origine Bleue.jpg
What a great looking bike I am starting to really dig bikes from that period more and more. How cool do some of those factory turbo bikes look. My particular favorite is the Yamaha xj650 what a beauty:
14255
 

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First really long ride was 1000 miles from Precott, AZ to Stillwater, OK. I was in flight school at 20 and had to stay after the semester end to take my flight test so I got kicked out of the dorms and was crashing at a local camp site for a couple weeks...and this is the days before cell phones. Two days before my scheduled flight test I call home while I am in town and my parents tell me I had a call from Sara and she is shipping out to Germany soon. Once I call her and have the conversation every 20 year kid wants to have with that one that "got away" all through high school and our first year of college...I find out I have a VERY narrow window to see her if I dead head it straight through I-40 leaving from my flight test.

Bike was a Nighthawk 650 (with a tiny little tank) and gear was all stuff given to me or scrounged except my helmet. This is a naked bike with a tiny aftermarket fly screen. I pass my flight test at 13:30 on Thursday, finish the paperwork 14:00 and head North to Flagstaff on my way to 900 miles of the straighest, most boring highway in all of America.

As soon as I hit I-40 I was doing 90 mph pretty much constantly which meant getting fuel every 75 minutes. If was about 70f and I was just eating up the miles. Grabbed a burger and a Coke about sunset while refueling and noticed it was getting chilly really quick. My gear was a thin, mostly unlined domber jacket, flannel shirt, old school cotton long johns, jeans, combat boots with old wool hiking socks. Gloves were Lemont Ropers...so no insulation...and a pair of Jersey gloves I could slide inside them. It was Memorial Day weekend and I was about to go through another 100 miles of desert after dark then go up about 4000' in elevation, drop back down into the panhandle of Texas after dark...I had not planned for this cold.

Left the gas station and immediately got hooked up with a convoy of truckers taking advantage of the flat nothingness and New Mexico's lack of interest in speeders on I-40 (back then). They were averaging about 85 mph, 14 rigs in a row so I rode up beside the second in line, got his attention and he made room for me between the front two trucks...oh sweet still pocket of air, you are my savior! In addition, it increased my cruising range to almost 100 minutes. At that point I duck out of the convoy, gave a wave and blasted into the gas station for worlds fastest fuel up. I left the gas station and hit the superslab at speeds not seen by that bike before or since because it was now 40f and I want my pocket of still air back!

I finally got to the other side of Amarillo and I was wasted...I needed a nap. I crashed on rest area picnic table for an hour, drank a couple of waters and ate an apple. Went to check my oil and realized I could not get the bike on the centerstand solo with all the gear and having just rode about 700 miles. A friendly gentleman helped me out and even gave me disreputable looking hoodie sweat shirt he kept behind the seat of his truck (little late but appreciated). Off to the superslab again.

10 miles from the OK border a semi sheds its skin (throws a recap) right as I am about to pass him. Tears a nice hole in my jeans, couple of deep scratches leaking just enough blood on my right shin to scare people at the next gas stop and took out my right turn signal...power through it, your 20 and horny.

Rest of the ride was uneventful and I pulled up to Sara's house about 14:00 (time zones were not my friend) to find she left for processing at Tinker at 13:00...

So with that downer headed to my parents house 15 miles away and local cop pulls me over and give me a fix-it ticket for a broken turn signal.
 

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Heck of a ride!
 
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